GOOD QUARTERLY GROWTH AT UNIBET
GOOD QUARTERLY GROWTH AT UNIBET First quarter gains include a foreign exchange boost on operating items of GBP 2.4 million The Malta and UK based online gambling group Unibet published positive first quarter results this week, recording an increase in gross win revenues to GBP 31.3 million (2007 Q1: GBP 21.6 million) However, pre-tax profits dropped to GBP 2.9 million (Q1 2007: GBP 8.8 million). Currency exchange losses of GBP 5.6 million were incurred on a Euro 100 million bond Unibet took out to buy bingo operator Maria Holdings in late 2007 (see previous InfoPowa report). The results list EBITDA for Q1 2008 at GBP 13.1 million, Q1 2007: GBP 9.9 million). Sports betting margins showed a small decline over the same quarter last year at 9.4 percent (2007: 11.3 percent) with the decline most marked in Sweden, where margins fell 5.3 percent to 7.1 percent (2007: 12.4 percent). Generally, Unibet has seen good growth in quarter 1 2008, with gross win and operating profit rising said CEO Petter Nylander in releasing the financials. “The EBITDA for the first quarter includes a foreign exchange gain on operating items of GBP 2.4 million," he said. "With marketing costs under control and the operational integration of Maria Holdings substantially completed according to plan, together with our new site launched in all markets, we are now focused on achieving the financial targets for 2010.” Petter, long an activist for a more open and competitive industry in Europe, again drew attention to the exclusive gambling policies of some EU member states and predicted these would continue in the short to mid-term term.